It is referred to as grandparent rights, but in reality it is the rights of children to remain connected with grandparents. The grandparent visitation movement is directed toward protecting and preserving that part of a child's extended family. The grandparents’ rights movement is an ongoing struggle of individuals promoting the preservation of the family unit by influencing legislation and the public.
Advocates include organizations, legal and therapeutic professionals, and concerned citizens. Grandparent rights give grandparents standing in a court of law, which means they may petition the court for visitation with visitation issues. Most often the problem arises when the strained relationship with one or both parents escalates and after exhausting all efforts to rectify the denied visitation issue, grandparents resort to litigation.
The idea of seeking litigation as a means to visit a grandchild is indeed a strange phenomenon, yet a fact of life as it is today. Family values have changed: the Baby Boomer Generation, now grandparents, find that their children, as parents, often have a different set of family values.
These children, who are now parents, so hastily dispose of the grandparents, seemingly whenever the mood strikes them.
Communication efforts become broken, and there is little if any dialog or consideration toward mediation, consequently the consensus of the parent[s] is to get rid of the person rather than the problem.
When grandparents lose contact with grandchildren, they lose a large part of their future. The child not only loses a piece of their future, but the connection to their past.
The grandparents play a significant role in the lives of children, it is a unique and separate relationship therefore, what is going on with the family should not determine the outcome of the relationship or pose a threat to the bond that has developed.
Susan Hoffman is the author of the book, GRAND WISHES: Advocating To Preserve The Grandparent Grandchild Bond, isbn: 978-0-9799168-0-9. The purpose of the book is to raise awareness about the growing social problem of denied grandparent grandchild access as well as a resource for disenfranchised grandparents. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the non profit organization, Advocates For Grandparent Grandchild Connection, of which Susan Hoffman is the creator and director. http://www.grandparentchildconnect.org